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#1 2015-05-04 15:05:13

TheWhiteFalcon
Member
Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Getting the best performance from TFF: the key?

I'm curious as to what system element (or combination) is arguably most important to getting good overall performance from TenFourFox. Is it the amount of RAM? Of cache? CPU speed? A combination of things? I ask because it's not too bad on my little 12" 867MHz AlBook, but it's not great either, and I'm wondering if it's the pitiful 256k L2 cache on this one that's the main issue. It's running Leopard, maxed out at 1.128GB of RAM, and IIRC the hard disk is a 5400RPM unit now.

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#2 2015-05-04 18:14:35

jruschme
Member
Registered: 2014-08-27
Posts: 24

Re: Getting the best performance from TFF: the key?

Over at the MacRumours forums, there is a nice thread in the PowerPC section about optimizations and config options to speed up TFF.

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#3 2015-05-04 19:03:09

TheWhiteFalcon
Member
Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Re: Getting the best performance from TFF: the key?

I did apply a few of those and it did let me browse some pretty crufty sites with a considerable boost, so thanks!

Still curious, though, since we have the creator here, as to what would be the most important spec.

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#4 2015-05-04 19:08:01

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
Website

Re: Getting the best performance from TFF: the key?

Some of those are woefully out of date. For example, javascript.options.jit.* doesn't do anything anymore, and hasn't since at least v17. Others are handy and work for many people, but could have problems in edge cases. You can try them and see. As always, keep your add-ons down to what you actually need/use, and consider making a clean profile now and then to get rid of accumulated cookies and history that just slow things down.

Under the hood, TenFourFox has a particular dependency for RAM and cache for two reasons: first, Firefox tends to be memory hungry anyway -- though this has improved quite a bit since 3.6, and it's not as hoggish as Chrome can get, it really wants at least 2GB of addressing space and that means optimally your system should have that amount of physical RAM if you can. (I realize your AlBook is maxed out, but for what it's worth.) Second, because of the larger stack frames, the JIT will allocate and consume up to 1GB of just stack alone -- on complex pages, it really will try to use it, and remember that large components of the browser itself (and most add-ons) are written in JavaScript, which is also compiled by the JIT.

A faster JIT is scheduled for 38, but this is likely to use even more RAM, since the compiler is now two-stage.

Cache is a particular bottleneck in your configuration. 256K L2 on a 7450 is not a lot, especially considering how slow the FSB is on the G4.

While the disk will hurt a bit while swapping, I think the other two are the bigger contributors.


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#5 2015-05-04 19:17:56

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
Website

Re: Getting the best performance from TFF: the key?

I should also say one other thing: an 867MHz G4 isn't going to be too fast with any browser on modern sites anyway. My slowest daily driver is a 1GHz iMac G4. Even on that I would consider its performance to be, at best, adequate -- and it's not doing very strenuous browsing tasks most of the time, just forum sites and an occasional eBay auction.

Last edited by ClassicHasClass (2015-05-04 19:18:14)


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#6 2015-05-04 20:08:52

TheWhiteFalcon
Member
Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Re: Getting the best performance from TFF: the key?

That's about what I was thinking. It's a shame Apple darn near crippled the G5's and the G4 Books with a pathetically small amount of cache; my 8100 has the same as this AlBook. hmm

That being said, performance isn't as bad as it was (I'm typing this on it right now), which is a plus.

I've got a pair of 17" units I need to get fixed and buffed up (the 1.67 Lo-Res is complete but needs a lot of screws, the 1.33 needs a good deal more) and I'll try those soon enough.

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#7 2015-05-05 02:19:25

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
Website

Re: Getting the best performance from TFF: the key?

Apple always criminally undercached their G4 and G5 designs. The Quad at least has 1MB of L2 per core, which is more than the 0.7MB/core (1.41MB/chip) of the 2-way POWER4 it's descended from, but the POWER4 also has 32MB/chip of L3 cache and the Quad doesn't have any. At least the G5 bus is better than the 167MHz top speed FSB for the G4, which is hurt even more by insufficient L2 and in your case the absence of L3. If Apple had been more generous, I think they would have gotten more out of the design.

At least the third party G4 CPU upgrades somewhat made up for this, but that made them more expensive and sometimes more power-hungry, and obviously that doesn't help you at all in a laptop. If only it were as expandable as the 1400 (or even the Pismo).

Plus, the fastest G4 upgrades were usually of the L3-less 744x series; the 7455 couldn't get much past 1.5GHz. In some tests slower 7457 chips with L3 surpassed them. http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G4CARDS/powe … ndex2.html


Machine room (updated for 2019!): http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

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#8 2015-05-05 03:09:28

TheWhiteFalcon
Member
Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Re: Getting the best performance from TFF: the key?

That is one of the reasons I liked my original model 17" AlBook, it may have only had 256k L2, but it did have 1MB L3, something they didn't extend to any other model.

Last edited by TheWhiteFalcon (2015-05-05 03:09:49)

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